Archive for the ‘War in Darfur’ Category

Ethnic and Tribal Conflict in Western Sudan

The War in Darfur is a conflict in the Darfur region of Western Sudan. Unlike the Second Sudanese Civil War, the current lines of conflict are seen to be ethnic and tribal, rather than religious. However, a United Nations report states that the various tribes under attack (chiefly the Fur, Massalit and Zaghawa tribes) do not appear to have a distinct ethnicity from their attackers.

One side of the armed conflict is composed mainly of the Sudanese military and the Janjaweed, a militia group recruited mostly from the Arab Abbala tribes of the northern Rizeigat, camel-herding nomads. The other side comprises a variety of rebel groups, notably the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and the Justice and Equality Movement, recruited primarily from the land-tilling non-Arab Fur, Zaghawa, and Masalit ethnic groups.

The Sudanese government, while publicly denying that it supports the Janjaweed, has provided money and assistance to the militia and has participated in joint attacks targeting the tribes from which the rebels draw support. The conflict began in February 2003.